A few brief thoughts on last night's Oscar ceremony:
* How fucking pissed would you be right now if you were Annette Bening? 'Cause it's not even like you could chalk your second loss to Hilary Swank up to sheer babe factor alone--Swank actually has mad skills. Ms. Bening is a gracious, beautiful woman, and a truly stunning actress, so I have to believe that she's taking it all in stride, but there's still a part of me that imagines her completely flipping the fuck out, much like her character from Being Julia probably would have.
* Clint Eastwood's mother?
* Charlie Kaufman's meta-commentary on his own acceptance speech ("...28...27...26...this is very intimidating...") while he was still giving it was pure genius. I couldn't be more pleased that Eternal Sunshine (which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite movies) was given even a little bit of mainstream recognition, and that Kaufman, who is one of the few auteurs worthy of the title working in Hollywood (who isn't also a director), has license to keep on following his weird, wonderful muse.
* The duet between Beyoncé and Josh Groban is the reason why I watch the Oscars. I was drunk on the giddy, cheesy glee of it all. A horrifying train wreck (no pun intended) of melisma and overemoting and Glen Ballard power balladry that delighted from start to finish.
* Chris Rock's opening monologue was, though topically tame, kind of exactly what they hired him to do. The anti-Bush stuff, calling Tobey Maguire "just a kid in tights," suggesting that Russell Crowe star in a period piece about three weeks ago--all gold. However, I do think it's telling that the biggest laugh of the night in my living room (well, the biggest laugh that didn't go to a bit of snark that one of us heckled toward the TV screen) went to Johnny Carson. I can't remember the exact wording, but his bit about "this is day 164 of the Oscar telecast," likening it to the Iran hostage crisis, really, genuinely tickled us. The joke was smart, sophisticated, and delivered with more poise than most of the jittery, fidgety, still-alive presenters could muster combined. (Jeremy Irons, delectably, excepted.)
* Why did Barbra Streisand insist on speaking to Dustin Hoffman entirely in her Mrs. Focker character for pretty much the entire time she was on stage? Though not as outright point-and-laugh-worthy as her "songs are amazing things" bon mot from the Oscars in 2003, she is definitely getting weirder by the year. And I loved Hoffman's barely concealed eye-rolling about the whole thing. There's something kind of comforting about the fact that even though he's 67 years old, he's still got more than a healthy amount of sneering, snotty, 1960s rebel attitude left in him.
O'Ds? Cassius? Benji? What am I forgetting here?